Spanish win moves GMac into top 10
Europe’s Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell broke into the World’s top 10 on Sunday when he won the Andalucia Masters.
Europe’s Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell will find himself installed in the top 10 when the World Golf Rankings are updated on Monday – thanks to his victory in the the Andalucia Valderrama Masters on the Spanish Sotogrande on Sunday.
The Northern Ireland star shot a 3-over par 74 for the day in trying weather conditions to finish at 3-under overall, two ahead of a chasing pack of three.
Fellow countryman Gareth Maybin, the unfortunate Damien McGrane of Ireland and Dane Soren Kjeldsen were the only other men to finish under par for the tournament, each closing at one under.
Kjeldsen, along with Joost Luiten shot a best-of-the day 2-under 69.
McGrane, in particular, will feel aggrieved after losing his composure on the final three holes, during which he dropped four shots.
McDowell’s win not only made new inroads into Martin Kaymer’s sizeable Race to Dubai lead, but also booked McDowell the world number 10 spot – making him the the sixth European alongside four Americans in this very elite group.
He started the final round as joint leader with compatriot Maybin on six under, but both men lost strokes early on to open the way for McGrane, Maybin bogeying his first three holes on his way to a five-over round of 76.
Ireland’s McGrane, playing in the group ahead of McDowell and Maybin, started on two under and gradually chipped away to five under to be in the lead on the 16th tee.
But with a second tour win in his sights and heavy wind affecting all the players, he made a mess of the hole and surrendered the initiative.
McGrane sent his tee-shot into the rough on the right and then took on an overly ambitious shot that backfired before narrowly avoiding going out of bounds.
In the end he needed four shots to reach the green and two putts for a double-bogey six.
McDowell bogeyed the third and eighth before pulling a shot back on the par-four ninth. The US Open champion dropped a further shot in taking four strokes on the 12th, but a steady return of pars in the increasingly difficult conditions were enough to ease him into a two-shot lead.
The 31-year-old bogeyed the 18th but by then he was already assured of his seventh career win.
Jose Maria Olazabal – who is expected to take over the Ryder Cup captaincy, fitness permitting – was one of only three players to sign for a sub-par round today, with his one-under 70 enough to earn him a share of 10th.
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